Methylmalonic acidemia: 6 years' clinical experience with two variants unresponsive to vitamin B12 therapy. Academic Article uri icon

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  • Two infants with lethargy, vomiting, convulsions, coma and marked metabolic acidosis were found to have very high concentrations of methylmalonic acid in their serum and urine. In vitro studies of fibroblasts demonstrated that the infants had different variants of methylmalonic acidemia.Vitamin B(12) was given in two different forms at 1 month of age and at 12 months of age. Each trial continued for 4 months but neither infant showed a clinical or biochemical response.In both infants hyperglycinemia, neutropenia and thrombocytopenia developed during acute metabolic crises only. Hypoglycemia was found in patient 2. Hyperammonemia was severe in patient 2 during acute crises but never appeared in patient 1. When clinically well, both infants continued to excrete abnormal amounts of methylmalonic acid in the urine and both had persistent compensated metabolic acidosis.Marked hyperuricemia developed in patient 1 at 18 months of age and led to progressive renal failure. Allopurinol therapy was necessary to keep the uric acid concentration within the normal range. Renal function returned to normal, as indicated by a marked increase in the renal clearance of creatinine and uric acid.Patient 1 is physically and mentally retarded, and has moderate hypotonia, hepatomegaly and persistent vomiting. Patient 2 has developed normally.The urine concentrations of methylmalonic acid in the four parents were normal.


  • Whelan, DT
  • Ryan, E
  • Spate, M
  • Morris, M
  • Hurley, RM
  • Hill, Robert

publication date

  • May 19, 1979

published in